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Dutch Savage (1935-2013)

Real NameFrank Lionel Stewart

Birthdate - 6/9/35 - 8/3/13

6’4” 265 lbs. - Scranton, PA

Athletic BackgroundFootball, Baseball, Basketball [High School]

Teacher(s)Luke Brown, Grizzly Smith

Professional BackgroundGeorgia(`60), Nashville, Kansas City(`65), Georgia(`65), Amarillo(`65-`66), Vancouver(`66-`67), Portland(`66-`67), Hawaii(`67), Vancouver(`68-`69), Tri-State(`70), Portland(`70-`81), Vancouver(`70-`80), San Francisco(`73)

AliasesLonnie Brown, Dr. X, Dutch Schultz

Groups - Rat Pack

Peak Years`66-`76

Place in HistoryPortland Wrestling was an entity like few other territories and might best be compared to Memphis wrestling.  It had its own flavor, its distinction in its home area and its own local heroes.  While men like Bull Ramos, Shag Thomas, Moondog Mayne and Tony Borne have their place, Dutch Savage might be the biggest star from the biggest days of pro-wrestling in the Pacific Northwest.  Hailing from the East Coast, he was broken in by his close friend Luke Brown of the Kentuckians.  After bouncing around the South, learning the trade, Dutch Savage was poised to be a top talent.  In addition to being tall and well-built, he was an exceptional talker and got over strongly as an arrogant heel.  Savage was on the top of his game when he came to Don Owen’s territory and established himself.  Going between Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco and Hawaii, Dutch Savage built a reputation as one of the top heels around.  His sense of self-importance was an extension of his true self and it allowed him to get to the top in most places he travelled.  Savage was not just a personality, his work in the ring was top-notch as well.  After several years as a no-nonsense bad guy, Savage was turned and his tough guy aura that got over with the blue collar fans in the area.  He had a legendary rivalry with Bull Ramos that turned him babyface and he also had several successful teams with the charismatic Lonnie Mayne and the dynamic Jimmy Snuka in the 1970s.  Concurrently with his run as a top talent, Savage bought into the Vancouver office and the depleted Washington end of Don Owen’s Portland office.  In this role, he developed a reputation behind the scenes.  Savage was a smart booker who could put together a fantastic crew and orchestrate some hot angles.  Among his notable creations was the Coal Miner’s Glove match, tipping his hat to his years in West Virginia.  Savage was also known to be a stern taskmaster and miserable individual.  Dutch amazingly got a TV show on a PBS affiliate by running a clean show and turned the Seattle-based operation profitable again.  Dutch shifted from an in-ring performer to a key person behind-the-scenes and color commentator on TV.  Curiously, Dutch Savage’s world quickly changed as he got rid of his ownership and retired suddenly in 1981.  It was an unheralded exit for arguably the biggest star in the region’s history.  He says he was ready to leave to tend to his real estate interests and ministry, but others claimed he was caught stealing from the gates.  No matter which story is true, Dutch put that life behind him and became wholly dedicated to learning and teaching scripture.  Dutch Savage will always be synonymous with Portland Wrestling and rightly so.  While Don Owen was the promoter, Dutch did everything from booking, running towns, working in the ring and developing talent that helped make Portland wrestling a long-running institution.